secondary meaning

an exclusive association in the minds of consumers between a mark and a provider of goods/services that has arisen by virtue of commercial use of that mark. Also known as “acquired distinctiveness.”

A mark that is otherwise ineligible for registration on the Principal Register (for example, for being merely descriptive) may nevertheless be allowed to register if the applicant proves that the mark has acquired a special significance to the consuming public, such that the mark has come to signify to the public that the product or service offered under that mark is produced by that particular source.